Forthcoming CHE institutional audit site visit

02 August 2022

Dear colleagues and students

I am writing to update you on the preparation for the forthcoming Council on Higher Education (CHE) institutional audit site visit to the University of Cape Town (UCT), which will take place from 15 to 19 August 2022.

The overarching purpose of this audit is to evaluate the coherence and effectiveness of our internal quality assurance system in enabling student success and improving our core academic functions. The audit will look at what policies, processes and resources are used to ensure that we not only meet our quality standards, but that we support, sustain, develop, enhance and monitor our various quality processes and mechanisms.

The site visit planning is handled by the Institutional Audit Steering Committee, with support provided by the Institutional Planning Department (IPD).

Please be informed that the CHE-appointed panel that will visit UCT is as follows:

  • Professor Norman Duncan – Former Vice-Principal: Academic (University of Pretoria)
  • Dr Kirti Menon – Senior Director: Division for Academic Planning, Quality Promotion and Academic Staff Development (University of Johannesburg)
  • Professor Helena van Zyl – Director: University of Free State Business School
  • Professor Fayth Ruffin – Academic Leader: Public Governance (University of KwaZulu Natal)
  • Professor Allucia Lulu Shokane – Acting Deputy Dean: Research, Innovation and Internationalisation (University of Zululand)
  • Professor Alan Tait – Emeritus Professor: Distance Education and Development (Open University, UK)

The site visit will take place in a hybrid mode. This means that the panel will spend the first three days of the audit visit conducting online interviews and the final two days on campus doing interviews and touring physical facilities in the faculties of Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities and Science.

Due to the audit panel’s limited time, interview sessions will take place with a broad cross-section of staff and students, including:

  • Members of the Executive and Deans
  • Executive Directors and Directors of PASS departments
  • Members of Convocation and alumni
  • Student governance structures
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Members of Council and Senate Committees
  • Representatives of student support structures
  • Academic staff
  • Members of Senate
  • Staff union representatives

Staff have already started receiving interview requests and students will shortly be invited to indicate their willingness to be interviewed. I encourage you to participate.

The entire institutional audit process is developmental and focused on the academic operations of the university. All engagements with the panel are confidential. If you are not invited to an interview session, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback either through a written submission or an open interview slot. I will share further details on the process for forwarding written submissions and the open interview slot with the university community a week before the site visit.

In order to brief interviewees about the nature and objectives of the interview process, IPD will host a live briefing session on 11 August from 13:00 to 14:00. UCT staff and students may access the briefing via MS Teams.

Staff and students may use their login credentials to access the institutional Self-Evaluation Report (SER) on the IPD website. A summary and guideline to the SER can also be found on this website. Should interviewees not be able to join the live briefing, they will be able to access a pre-recorded briefing on the IPD website after 5 August.

For further information on the institutional audit, please contact Amanda Barratt.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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